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Thursday, 25 April 2013

Making do with the not-so-new

Making do with the not-so-new

When I say that I make do with the not-so-new many people figure my life to be a string of sacrifices.   Yet the reality is, gentle readers, that our frugal lifestyle affords me some of my greatest freedoms.

Cutting back on our expenses in a multitude of ways allows me to be at home raising our kids.  I still have to work, of course, but the modest income my home day care provides would never have been enough to make ends meet with our pre-frugal lifestyle.
So although we sacrifice vacationing (or even dinning out) whenever we want I now have the freedom to choose a job that allows me to be home with our children and now also to home school.

I doubt anyone looking at my children would feel pity for them because they make do with second hand, home made or repaired clothes,  In fact, I can say with absolute honesty that my kids are some of the most stylish kids I know.  In shopping second hand and consignment stores for them I am able to dress them better than if I were buying new.
If my son Walter needed long sleeved shirts, for example, and I went to a new clothing store I would be forced to choose from the limited selection of that store during that season.
But a decent second hand store carries clothes from many many stores- even across the globe as people tend to buy clothes while vacationing.  They will also carry a small selection of "off season" items. So I can get a bathing suit for swimming lessons in January, or a costume for a beauty pageant in May.
All for a small fraction of what it would cost to buy new.

Walk into my house and the first thing you might think is "Wow! Day care can get noisy!"  But likely not "Oh these poor people just making do".
That Guy and I bought our fireplace from kijiji,com as a fifth wedding anniversary gift to each other. We have had it for almost two years now and it looks exactly the same as it would had we bought it new.
A dear friend of ours co-owns a pawn shop. We were able to buy our flat screen TV and our digital camera from him at very reasonable prices.

We also accept help.  That's a really tough one for a lot of people. I certainly do not go around begging for money.  But if I need a table for the day care kids to eat/colour/play on and someone says "Hey, my cousin is looking to get rid of her table.  It's yours if you'll pick it up" I see no shame in accepting the help.
Same goes if a certain one of my children suddenly decides to out-grow ALL of her clothes.  If a friend happens to be cleaning out her own daughters closet and happens on a bag of clothes that would fit Audrey I  gratefully, gracefully, accept.

DIY helps a ton too. You want to update your bathroom but your budget is tight- like '80's jeans tight? There is likely nothing really wrong with your bathroom accessories- they are just...well...ugly. A can of spray paint will cover the ugly and give them new life.  Add a nice but inexpensive shower curtain.  Have a bunch of towels but none match? Add a decorative band of ribbon to them and Volia!- a set of towels.  See what I did there? DIY bathroom update for $30.

Making do with the not-so-new- it's one of the frugal things I do and you can too!


  1. when you do your couch for 400$ please please post on how step by step please thanks a bunch